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A.B.C. (A Bohol Christmas)

PHILIPPINES | Saturday, 28 April 2012 | Views [799]

My high school friend invited me to join her on a Bohol trip on Christmas break. Being a (somehow) traveler, I readily joined upon also my hubby’s nod. So, Bohol trip on December 24-26, 2011 was immediately booked, paid, and now, realized.

            There was anticipated rain during those days, but I’m willing then to perform a sun dance just to make the weather be on our side during the trip. And maybe, Mother Nature heeded our call (my friend also confessed that she “offered eggs” for the same reason as mine...:-)). So off to Bohol we go!

Our flight was at 8:10 am, so a wakeup call of 3 in the morning was necessary as we (1) “fight” the holiday rush, hence, traffic; and (2) there were drizzles the night before, and thin chances of cab could be expected. But viola, my daughter and I were already in the airport by 5am, fresh and dry.

Flight was smooth and we reached Tagbilaran airport basked in sunshine. Later, we fetched my hubby at Tagbilaran port who was coming from Cebu, making us then a party of five (my hubby, my daughter, myself, my friend and her partner).

No time was wasted as we started our first day with a tour before our sweat gets dry inside the comforts of our van. We visited the Blood Compact site located in Tagbilaran City. According to Bohol-Philippines.com, the Blood Compact Site was made in honor of a very important event in the Philippine history done between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rjah Sikatuna of Bohol. This site as the First Treaty of Friendship between two different races, religions, cultures and civilizations. An agreement based on respect and equality. This event is commonly known as "Sandugo".

For me, the site needs to have more recognition in terms of signage and proper area to explore no matter how small the site is. It seemed it was just a nearby store visited by few people gathering and taking pictures along with the statues. Paging Bohol government, but please don’t impose entrance fees.

Loboc River Cruise was the next destination in time for our lunch on board. The food didn’t fascinate me if not for my hunger. The pansit was salty, shrimp halabos overcooked, too much flour on the fried chicken, and there was the unchewable barbecue. I’m saddened by food cooked far from being delectable. Thank heavens for my gastronomic dissatisfaction was compensated by the song and (tinikling) dance number by Boholanos, mostly kids, who were on the other raft. Credits are also due to the fresh air surrounding us amidst the waterfalls that fell short of our expectations.   

Next stop, Chocolate Hills! It was said that there were at least 1,776 hills but as years went by, its number dwindled as there were (still?) speculations of quarrying. It was a sad way of giving back to the nature who gave nothing but beautiful sceneries for us to appreciate.

On our way to our next itinerary, we saw the Ship House (spelled on their tarp as Haus) which was once featured on a magazine show. We made a couple of souvenir shots in front of it. Going inside was easily dismissed despite of the navy man/usher’s cordial invitation, and much to the listed itineraries.

Man-made forest was along the road and very impossible to miss. It was said that Boholanos planted mahogany trees to solve the soil erosion problems as the national highways were in between the mountains. The said forest is a sight to behold, but according to Mr. Tour Guide, Filipino film makers rather used the spot in creating eerie road scenes on their movies.

Aside from Chocolate Hills, I wanted to see Bohol for the famous tarsiers. Though there were reminders that the animals were off limits since they were also asleep, still I’m wishing a tarsier can share a frame with me in my camera. Nocturnal creatures they are, all I have are pictures of them from afar with their heads down, no hope to see their big eyes.

Hanging bridge is another tourist attraction and yet failed to be presented as such. Yes, Bohol may not be as modern as Cebu and there maybe less than 40 taxi all over the island (as per our tour guide), but it’s not the reason not to preserve tourist attractions, be it natural or man-made.

Baclayon church was next on our list. (info___). One can easily see the age of the church through its walls, doors, altars and the statues of the saints. Our tour guide/driver was knowledgeable enough to show us the formed image of Padre Pio in one of the church’s outside walls. It seemed Baclayon museum’s contradicted its own signage of “going to Bohol is not complete without going to the museum” as it was closed by the time of our visit due to absence of visitors. I wonder what do they call us and the rest of the foreigners who came one after another right that moment?

We ended our full-packed day one by checking in at Bita-ug Beach Resort. Dinner came in the presence of bit salty but tasty pork adobo, truly veggie-loaded chopsuey, and overcooked hence, hard-to-bite lechon kawali. Our food took almost more than an hour to prepare, to think there were other guests ahead of us, meaning, the staff have to work double time. I hope fast service will be on their menu since we will be staying on their resort for two more days. Well, thanks for the trips earlier that day for we spent our waiting time talking about the city tour rather than ranting over our slow orders.

Watch out for our equally exciting adventures on our second day in this lovely place called Bohol!

Tags: beach, bohol, food, old churches, scenic spots, snorkeling, travel

 

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